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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 11:32 GMT
Course cuts explained to students
Pipette
Chemistry students are among those affected
Exeter University's vice-chancellor is meeting students on Wednesday amid confusion about the future of some degree courses.

The university is ending degrees in music, biological and chemical sciences and Italian to plug a funding gap.

Some students on those courses are worried they will not be able to complete their degrees, but the university insists that is untrue.

It blames the leaking of information about the cutbacks for the confusion.

Chaos has ensued - we are very angry about it
Stuart Franklin, Exeter University

University spokesman Stuart Franklin said: "It was in the papers over the weekend so chaos has ensued.

"We are very angry about it.

"Now we are having to do it arse about face because of matters beyond our control."

Moral obligation

The vice-chancellor Steve Smith is due to meet all students involved in three meetings on Wednesday.

He is also to email each student with the university's plans.

The message would remain that existing students would be able to complete their courses.

Up to 130 staff are to be made redundant from next July, but many would be retained on short-term contracts as courses are wound down.

Mr Franklin said: "We have a legal and a moral obligation to complete these courses."

Clare Elcombe, of the Exeter Guild of Students said that the Guild recognised the need for the university to restructure for the "long term benefit of all students".

Distraught students

But "misinformation" about the course closures had led to desperation among students.

She said: "Some have been distraught and we have spent a lot of time trying to calm things down."

The university's projected deficit has ballooned from 1.5m this year to 4.46m.

About 4m will be used to fund any pay-offs and talks about the terms of redundancy have already started.


SEE ALSO:
More students from state schools
30 Sep 04 |  Education


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